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Pompeii and Herculaneum

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Pasadena, CA
Level Contributor
12 posts
13 reviews
Pompeii and Herculaneum

We will be arriving in Naples on a morning train from Rome. I am trying to decide how many nights to stay in Naples. Would the rest of the day be enough to visit Herculaneum? If so, we would stay 2 nights and visit Pompeii the next day. Or should we plan on staying 3 nights? Thank you.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
67 posts
1. Re: Pompeii and Herculaneum

I think it would be worth staying the extra night to give yourself time to also visit the archeological museum in Naples where you can see some of the aftifacts that were found in Herculaneum and Pompeii, among other things. If you aren't interested in doing that, then yes, Herculaneum would be doable on your first day as it is much smaller than Pompeii. I think I would want to be checked into my hotel and ready to catch the Circumvesuviana no later than noon though.

pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
25,629 posts
15 reviews
2. Re: Pompeii and Herculaneum

You'll easily be able to see Herculaneum the day you arrive. It's a small site. If you wish to visit both Pompeii and the museum then I agree with spending an extra night in Naples.

Donna

Pasadena, CA
Level Contributor
12 posts
13 reviews
3. Re: Pompeii and Herculaneum

Thank you for the advice. Our 11 year old son will be with us. How interesting is the museum to an 11 year old? We have been to the Getty Villa here in LA, which has a number of artifacts from Herculaneum and Pompeii. He is interested in the statues and coins, but after a few bowls, they all start to look the same to him :-) The tradeoff is how long we have in Florence. I would prefer to arrive in Florence on a Saturday, as he is very interested in seeing the church domes (not good on Sunday) and the museums are typically closed on Mondays (at least they used to be). If we stay a 3rd night in Naples, we would only have Sunday - Monday in Florence.

London, Canada
Level Contributor
1,945 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Pompeii and Herculaneum

IMO Florence will interest him more, if, as you say, after a while all bowls look alike. He will like Pompeii and Herculaneum. Why not try for Vesuvius as well. I was up the top last October, and there were some young lads running around telling us to see the steam coming out.

Shoalhaven...
Destination Expert
for Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples
Level Contributor
6,406 posts
151 reviews
5. Re: Pompeii and Herculaneum

I disagree - Florence is for Renaissance buffs and if he loses interest in museums, that's what Florence is all about. The thing with the Naples Archaeological Museum is it's more than just paintings - the artefact room has everything from silver treasure to surgical instruments - the Alexander mosaic covers a whole wall. There is also the downstairs area which contains marble statues from the Farnese collection - and these have to be seen to be believed - some are the height of a two storey building. My own 13 year old son couldn't believe what he saw when we were there last October.

Re Vesuvius - it's a hot and tedious walk to the top where you'll look inside the crater and see....gravel and maybe a few fissures of steam. Ho hum. Best thing about Vesuvius is the view across the Bay of Naples so try and go on a clear day if you can.

Edited to discuss Florence - I also climbed the Duomo in Florence with my son. Get your tickets early (they are sold in the office opposite the Bapistry on the left as you face the duomo) then be first in line - it opens at 8.30am. We were the first ones up the stairs and had the views of Florence all to ourselves for a few minutes - it was incredible.

Edited: 4:32 pm, February 24, 2014
uk
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352 posts
13 reviews
6. Re: Pompeii and Herculaneum

It might be better to visit the museum on your first afternoon, lot's to see, all the everyday pots and pans, plus the amazing wall- paintings and bronzes etc and this puts into context the empty ruins, what they were filled with before the excavating started.

Next full day, maybe Pompeii, then the day after that, maybe a stroll around the historic quarter of Naples for an hour or two before catching the train to Herculaneum, we took a cool- bag with drinks and a snack, there are some lovely open squares for a picnic.

Albuquerque, New...
Level Contributor
791 posts
71 reviews
7. Re: Pompeii and Herculaneum

Can you do Pompeii and Herculaneum on the same day without killing yourselves? We have only one [full] day and planned to do both on same day. Are we crazy? This will be in early April.

Pasadena, CA
Level Contributor
12 posts
13 reviews
8. Re: Pompeii and Herculaneum

Is the Duomo in Florence open on Sunday or Monday? I haven't been to Italy in many years, since the days when everything was closed both days.

Edited: 1:00 am, February 26, 2014
Destination Expert
for Naples
Level Contributor
7,669 posts
24 reviews
9. Re: Pompeii and Herculaneum

Among the many things that have changed is that the Duomo now has a web site where you can check hours and purchase tickets: http://www.museumflorence.com/#opening-hours

The church is open every day, although you cannot walk around checking out the art during a mass.

The Cupola is closed on Sundays.

Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
88 posts
23 reviews
10. Re: Pompeii and Herculaneum

Some food for thought: at the Duomo in Florence you have the option to climb to the top of the dome OR the top of the campanile.

I've only done the dome, which is spectacular and I recommend it. But you probably get a better view of the dome itself from the top of the campanile.